Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Quote of the Day

by Charles Pooter

Over at Slashdot, user NeutronCowboy responds to novelist Mark Halprin's call for perpetual copyrights:

Dear Mr Helprin,

In light of a rumored bill before Congress to retroactively extend the limited copyright in the US to 25000 years after the death of the author (or the destruction of the last copy of the work, whichever comes last), we are investigating several potential copyright infringements in your last op-ed entitled "A Great Idea Lives Forever. Shouldn't Its Copyright?".

Descendants of James Madison request to be compensated for any citation, partial or full, of any of his works. Descendants of Hammurabi (currently estimated at about 127 million) claim copyright on any western law text and discussion thereof, as they are all derivative works of Hammurabi's Code of Law. Finally, there have been claims by descendants of Evander, son of the Sybil, that all Roman letters fall under their copyright, and that therefore any text using them needs to pay them a fair share of proceeds.

Preliminary calculations put the projected statutory infringement fines at 4.2 trillion dollars. This number may change as more claimants come forward. As it is unknown how much more the US Congress is going to extend copyrights, we suggest to settle sooner rather than later.


Howard Howe,
Dewey, Chetham & Howe, LLP

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